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Defence Acquisition Council gives nod to production of AK 203 rifles


NEW DELHI: Giving fire power to the standard weapon profile of armed forces, the  Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has granted permission for the mass production of AK-203 rifles. The Council has also approved an independent satellite for the Indian Air Force.

The decision comes ahead of  Russian President Vladimir Putin’s scheduled visit to India beginning from December 5. The important deal had been hanging since 2018. Sources confirmed that the DAC meeting chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday granted approval for manufacturing 7.5 lakh AK-203 assault rifles for the Indian Army under the ‘Make in India’ initiative.  The contract pegged at over Rs 5,000 crore will lead to manufacturing of 6,014, 427 AK-203s for over a 10-year period.

The manufacturing of the Kalashnikov Rifles will be done in Amethi, Uttar Pradesh jointly by the Indo-Russia Rifles Pvt Ltd (IRRPL), which was created as a joint venture between the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) and the Russia’s Rosoboronexport and Concern Kalashnikov. OFB holds 50.5 per cent stake in the concern with the Russian entities having the remaining 49.5 per cent share. 

Under the Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) signed in February 2019, the first 70,000 will include Russian-made components as technology transfers. In its meeting, the DAC accorded Acceptance of Necessity for capital acquisition proposal of IAF for its modernisation and operational needs amounting to Rs 2,236 cr. The procurement proposal was for GSAT-7C Satellite and Ground Hubs for real-time connectivity of Software Defined Radios (SDRs). The project envisages complete design, development and launching of satellite in India.

“Induction of GSAT-7C Satellite and Ground Hubs for SDRs will enhance the ability of armed Forces to communicate beyond Line of Sight among one another in all circumstances in a secure mode,” the Defence Ministry said.